ESPN And Sportscaster Jemele Hill Part Ways, Ending Her Politics-Tinged Tenure

ESPN And Sportscaster Jemele Hill Part Ways, Ending Her Politics-Tinged Tenure

Controversial sportscaster Jemele Hill is out at ESPN, months after her departure as a co-anchor from the network’s SportsCenter.

News surfaced late last night that Hill has been bought out of the remainder of her contract and will reportedly depart by Friday. She is the second prominent female at ESPN to move in the last few days. Earlier this week, Michelle Beadle was removed from the faltering Get Up! morning show and will focus on National Basketball Assn. coverage.

Hill has been fairly invisible at ESPN since departing earlier this year as co-anchor of the 6 PM hour of ESPN’s SportsCenter. She was listed on the staff of ESPN vertical The Undefeated as chief correspondent and senior columnist, but had few contributions and only the occasional on-camera appearance.

The fall from grace by Hill was triggered by the twin problems of low ratings and controversy over Hill’s political views, which she aired via Twitter. She was suspended and warned about tying her social media to politics, as the network is trying to move away from perceptions that it focuses too much on social issues and not enough on the nuts-and-bolts of sports.

In September 2017, Hill became the target of a tweet from President Donald Trump in which he demanded ESPN “apologize for untruth” after Hill tweeted that Trump is a “white supremacist.”

The White House blasted her tweet as a “fireable offense.” ESPN released a statement saying Hill’s tweets did not represent the position of the network. Hill later acknowledged that “Twitter wasn’t the place to vent my frustrations.”

It wasn’t her last controversy. A few weeks later, she was suspended by ESPN over tweets on Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones anti-kneeling stance on the national anthem protests.  “Change happens when advertisers are impacted.,” Hill tweeted. “If you feel strongly about JJ’s statement, boycott his advertisers.”

Hill continued to attack via Twitter on various political issues, a stance which only deepened the gap between her and ESPN, leading to Saturday’s departure announcement.

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